Offploy has developed a unique arrangement to address the Prison Education Framework that builds the voluntary sector into service offers which we believe the commissioners will expect to see in successful bids over the coming weeks. Offploy’s focus is getting offenders ready for work and then directly into a job. We specialise in working with offenders prior to release, through the gate and on release during the first few months when getting work is crucial to reducing reoffending. We uniquely bring employers to the table and fill the job vacancies they exclusively ask us to work on.
We believe it is worth getting prison education right because this is where patterns of past behaviour and motivations can change, making employment a realistic prospect. If done right prison education can save money and resources further down the track. In its simplest form education changes people (their views and behaviours) and gets offenders more employment-ready. That is where Offploy can really help with our unique relationship with large employers who ask us to fill their vacancies because they want good employees and positive Corporate Social Responsibility social messaging. We bring real jobs which makes our personal approach to prison education valuable in the offenders’ eyes.
We think prison education should be both transformational and rehabilitative. We were pleased Dame Sally Coates shared that view when she led an adult prisons education review (and a similar review was parallel-tracked in the youth establishments).
To address these issues Offploy is offering 4 educational courses:
1. An accredited (NOCN level 2) 1 day education course that means a lot to the way offenders think and changes mindsets. Offploy have a brilliant Behaviour Change educational course (Changing the Mindset) which engages and appeals to offenders in small groups (5 to 10 participants) over 1 day. At Offploy we believe all prison education has to add to/be contextualised to reducing reoffending, and behaviour change courses can start the process of personal growth. The potential for offender peer-educators (all Offploy tutors have lived experience) is high in this area and the learning can happen on-wing and use time which is currently wasted. The impact on offenders with additional needs (mental health, substance misuse, domestic violence) is good and the social impact on the NHS and social care services on release should be aimed for from the start.
2. Positive convictions disclosure – Offploy suggests this is made a compulsory accredited (NOCN level 2) 1 day educational course for small groups – offenders learning more about how to disclose histories legally/accurately but also positively is very important. Offploy runs a dedicated course which works through conviction disclosure with the aim to remove it as a barrier based on the fact we know employers will employ offenders if they show they have awareness and understanding of past behaviours and they present themselves as a valuable employee asset.
3. The accredited (NOCN level 2) 2 day course which combines item 1 and 2 above over a two day change the mindset and positive disclosure course. This runs over 2 days combines all the elements of the above one day courses. It is for 5-10 participants.
4. Sector-specific employability course (3 hours per day (M-F) over 6 weeks) accredited NOCN Level 3. This educational training is specific to a sector of employment and leads to work on release from custody or after a community course. The course links to specific employers who will employ the participant with the qualification gained. The sector specific employment areas are:
Passport to Food Manufacturing
Construction and site work
Refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump systems
Retail and shop work